Both anthropology and contemporary art are forms of gaining knowledge and of intersubjective presentation. The politics of representation are a common topic for them. The common ground they inhibit include the document, innovative representational practices, and alternative strategies of research.
For urban anthropology, contemporary art scenes are interesting in that they usually are located in the global metropolitan centers. Museums, academies, galleries, exhibitions, art biennials, artists' groups and circles, institutions of art critic, public relations, and distribution are part of urban structures. Their members can become important discursive partners of anthropological research.
Both anthropology and art are forms of gaining knowledge and of intersubjective presentation. Art and anthropology need more than direct interaction with people. They need memories, something which is written down or made visually accessible. With such documents, creators of art and anthropology place themselves ""between their audiences and the world" (Schneider/Wright 2006:16). The "politics of representation" are a common topic for them: translation, understandability, accessibility while keeping the depth of experience, which is interwoven with linguistic and biographic approaches. Innovative representational practices develop, and alternative strategies of research, (re)creating, and exhibiting are developed.
The round-table panel I want to suggest to you is meant to address all these topics and more from the common ground that anthropology and contemporary art inhibit. Analyses of works, of approaches, theoretical considerations, ethnographies of art scenes, interviews with artists, and comments on current cooperations of anthropologists and contemporary artists are welcome.